We can’t imagine what someone's significant other is going through after losing the love of their life and then learning that they would enter into a financial devastation they weren’t prepared for.
When Anne Friedman died, she had been happily married for 20 years. However, after her untimely death, it was discovered that her husband was not the beneficiary of her pension. A form she had filled out 27 years ago, 7 years before her marriage, before the couple had even met, listed other beneficiaries.
Assets transfer by title designation first. Who you leave as your beneficiary is who your assets will transfer to.
When Anne began her career, she was unmarried and childless. She had listed her beneficiaries as her mother, sister, and uncle.
When she died, those beneficiaries were still on file. The case went all the way up to the Manhattan Supreme Court. The courts ruled that Anne’s intention of making her husband the beneficiary could not be assumed post-mortem and that the paperwork on file was clear: Anne’s beneficiaries were her mother, sister, and uncle. Not her husband of 27 years.
Who depends on you to ensure that your affairs are in order?